by Chauncey Tinker – 8 Oct 2019
There is something rather strangely ironic about the so-called “Extinction Rebellion” protests. The very people protesting, supposedly against extinction, are mostly from a part of our society whose total fertility rate has voluntarily fallen way below replacement level, namely the middle classes. If we look for example at middle class areas of the UK such as Oxford, Cambridge and Bath, we see a fertility rate of only 1.55 according to the ONS (the replacement level is 2.1). At that rate this section of the population will have ceased to exist at all before any climate emergency takes place (even just assuming for a moment that such a climate emergency is likely to occur in any case). These people have already decided to become extinct, and are busily doing just that, so why on earth are they protesting AGAINST extinction? It makes no sense on the face of it.
We are often reminded by the media that the total fertility rate of the UK is slightly higher than the average for developed nations at 1.7. There’s nothing to worry about in other words, has been the media’s message, although obviously even a rate of 1.7 is evidence of a general population that is rapidly declining in numbers (when we discount net migration). However if we look more closely at particular areas of the UK, a more complicated picture emerges. Those areas that the mostly middle class protestors emerge from have a far below replacement fertility rate while other areas, for example Bradford, have a fertility rate actually at the replacement level of 2.1 overall (again according to ONS data).
The population of Bradford is not homogenous. According to the last census, the population of Bradford is still majority white British, but the percentage had fallen from 76.1 % in 2001 to 63.9 % in 2011, quite a large drop in the space of only 10 years (and we have no reason to expect that decline has not continued after 2011). That drop suggests that the white British people in Bradford are either not having many children, and/or many are moving away from the area (a process known as “white flight”).
There is a large population of ethnically Pakistani origin people living in Bradford, as noticed by a Lollywood celebrity who visited recently. The total fertility rate of 2.1 in Bradford when considered in tandem with the rapidly declining white British population figures suggests that the population rapidly increasing there, namely the Pakistani origin population, actually more than likely has a total fertility rate that is far higher than the average level of 2.1. We can’t know exactly how high that rate is because the data available from the ONS is just not granular enough. What we do also know from the 2001 and 2011 censuses however is that the Pakistani origin population of Bradford increased from 14.5 % to 20.4 % in the space of just 10 years.
It may be worth reflecting on the fact that Bradford has an unemployment rate much higher than the national average, and a rate moreover that has been sharply increasing according to recent figures. From the City of Bradford (see graph on first page):
Bradford District monthly unemployment update
It may also be worth reflecting on the fact, according to a YouGov report, that Bradford is considered the UK’s most dangerous city:
Bradford considered Britain’s most dangerous city
The increasing burden on the “coping classes” was commented upon by the Telegraph back in 2010:
Britain’s coping classes at breaking point
The above article claimed that:
Unemployment among ethnic minorities costs the economy almost £8.6 billion a year in benefits and lost revenue from taxes. Half of Muslim men and three quarters of Muslim women are unemployed.
Another article from the Telegraph (2017) more recently claimed that the birth rate among the Muslim population in the UK overall was 2.9:
Muslim population of the UK could triple to 13m following ‘record’ influx
Another indication of the changing demographic picture in the UK came in this article from the Express (2014):
Health services buckle under the pressure of migrant baby boom as UK birthrate soars
The above article states that Blackburn in Lancashire is now the “most youthful” town in the UK. Blackburn is another town with a large Pakistani origin population. The article describes a similar pattern in other areas of the north of England which have a large Pakistani origin population, although the article refers more generally to immigrants. The above article also states that the unemployment rate in Blackburn is again much higher than the national average. The correlation between areas of high unemployment and areas with higher than average fertility rates might possibly suggest that these higher fertility rates are being fueled in large part by the welfare system (I have searched in vain for more data on this however so it cannot be “proven” with the information available unfortunately).
Another very youthful district is Tower Hamlets in London, which again has a large Muslim population. From Tower Hamlets:
Tower Hamlets Borough Profile
We have the 4th youngest population in the UK. Almost half of our residents (46 per cent) are aged 20-39.
Even in the middle class areas I mentioned above there has been a steady influx of migrants from all corners of the globe, and so even there the total fertility rate 1.55 in these areas may be masking an even steeper decline among the white British. A large mosque has recently been built in Cambridge, a city that previously had only a very small population of Muslims.
The very people who claim to be protesting against extinction are from a section of our society that is rapidly and voluntarily becoming extinct in any case. Is there perhaps a sign of some serious mental illness here? We do need to rebel against our extinction I believe, but the very people currently protesting are actually encouraging our rapidly dwindling population to dwindle even faster. Perhaps if these people are seriously worried about a looming man-made climate crisis they might more sensibly direct their efforts towards those people who are having offspring at much higher than replacement rates. In our developed nations those offspring will necessarily contribute significantly to global warming (if man made global warming is real at least anyway). Perhaps if Extinction Rebellion want to do something really useful they might shift the focus on to the part the welfare state is playing in this localized population explosion.
Is The Media Encouraging Childlessness, And If So Why?
Birth Control And The Death Of Civilization
Race Matters – The Identity Crisis
From the Guardian (2017):
Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children
Note that recently the total fertility rate (TFR) of the UK overall has fallen. From the Telegraph:
Birth rate lowest since records began, as families opt for ‘environmentally friendly’ two children
From the BBC (August):
Birth rate in England and Wales hits record low
From Sky News:
Universal Credit gets ‘reset’ as Amber Rudd scraps two-child benefits cap extension
From the Telegraph and Argus:
Lollywood star Mehwish Hayat visits Bradford
From the City of Bradford (archived):
Bradford 2011 Census results
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.